Corporate Editorial and Photojournalistic Photography - NYC
This compelling photograph was taken during the annual board of director's meeting of Earthport Corporation in New York City. Earthport used these images for corporate collateral and their website.
I am based in Boston, MA and regularly shoot in NYC, country-wide, and occasionally worldwide.
Way back, after college and after New England School of Photography, I was going to open my first studio in New York City. I figured if I wasn’t going to be a lawyer, I’d better be a really good photographer and of course the place to really prove yourself is New York. But before I could move, I was hired by a Boston advertising agency to be their in-house photographer. I figured this job would give me steady income and I could produce top quality ads right out of school (I was the only person in my photography class to be able to say that). The way it worked out, after 2 years of shooting at the ad agency, I had set down roots in Boston. I was going to be a father and thought Boston would be a good city to raise a family. So my first studio ended up being here rather than in NYC.
I do understand that some of the best photography is being done in New York City. And so it warms my heart when I am hired by large New York companies to travel to NYC to shoot. I attribute being called in for projects like Earthport's to the fact that I visually present companies in a distinct way – a way that may not be available locally in New York.
Earthport is a global finance company, facilitating international electronic payments. They were conducting their yearly board meeting at the Penn Club in Manhattan and they needed imagery for their annual report and website. They needed authentic and compelling imagery for this, and asked me to shoot in black and white.
I often get asked to shoot in situations where there is a particularly high amount of pressure. This is probably because I stay calm and focused in those situations (perhaps the karate training kicks in automatically?) Here, executives had flown in from overseas to attend the meeting and there wasn’t much time for the photography (we also shot individual portraits just before the meeting). I am a non-invasive shooter in situations like this – I try to blend in to the meeting and not call attention to myself. I don’t light the meeting with hot lights or strobes and I don’t pose people, so I tend to get authentic poses and interaction. (I do, however, make sure that there are no Coke cans or water bottles with company names on the table – I find that viewers read any words in a photo before they look at a face, so logos like that would be distracting).
We were lucky to have great natural light for the meeting (well, I guess it wasn’t lucky – we chose this room for the natural light and moved the conference table to were the best light was). In a nutshell, that's is my general approach: to do my homework and prepare everything before the the subjects arrive so the proceedings can take place naturally and photogenically.
I use a Nikon D800 with a 80-200mm f/2 lens. The large aperature of this lens allows the background and foreground to go out of focus quickly while staying super sharp on the focal plane. The lens also has an anti-shake setting that allows you to shoot with dimmer light and a low shutter speed.
Most of the light in the this image was coming from the window behind the executive. The beauty of the light is that a good deal of sunshine fell on the white table cloth and bounced back up into the gentleman’s face. A natural fill card.
One hazard of shooting international financial board meetings is that your subjects tend to look the same: they’re mostly Caucasian and mostly men. I would love to see that change to reflect more of our demographics as a whole, but until that does, I think the way to keep it from looking like a bunch of old white guys is to really key in to the focus and personalities of the individuals around the table. When people – men, women, black, white – are invested in their work and give themselves to it completely, their pose and expression is fascinating to me. There’s an intensity and connectivity that is palpable… and that’s what I love to capture. | David Shopper Photography 2 Central Street, Suite 17 Ipswich MA 01938 978-356-1011